US & Canada

'I love digging,' says elderly Canadian who dug own grave

The grandchildren will know that their grandfather dug his own grave with his own backhoe' Image copyright CBC
Image caption "The grandchildren will know their grandfather dug his own grave with his own backhoe" says Mr Kickham

An 89-year-old Canadian has made headlines for digging his own grave.

"I love digging," Jimmy Kickham, from Prince Edward Island, told CBC News, saying he feels pride in his personal project.

Mr Kickham, who owns a construction business, has been digging graves and trenches for more than 60 years.

"One day I just thought I'd do my own if I lived to be 90," Mr Kichkam explained. He is in good health but turns 90 on Thursday.

"I love digging. Just one of those things that gets into your system. It's just work. Money. No matter what they wanted dug, I could do it," he told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Image copyright CBC
Image caption A cemetery maintenance worker listens as Mr Kickham explains why he is doing the work himself

Mr Kichkam still works on most days, using the same earth mover that he bought 45 years ago.

"There's nothing different for me to dig a grave, just natural. I dug enough of them, God knows," he said, adding that members of his family needed some convincing.

"I seen the priest first and then the undertaker and got the measurements, although I knew the measurements from the ones I dug before," he said.

He hopes to be interred in the regional old-fashioned way, which involves laying a pine wood box in the ground in advance of the funeral.

Image copyright CBC
Image caption The earth where Mr Kichkam's grave has been dug out and recovered

Eric Gallant, a maintenance worker for the St Alexis church in Rollo Bay, said he had never come across anything like it.

"It's something else. That's one of a kind, I figure," he said. "The only thing that's missing is his casket."

"And me!" Mr Kickham quipped.

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